Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Final Reflection

When you open your mouth, just within few seconds people start judging you. That is why I think verbal communication is important and my final reflection will be on this.

Think before you say.
Communication is about to deliver the message effectively across, that is why we need to be sure about what we are trying to deliver in order to transmit the message accurately. Moreover, it is always better to think the ideas in the point form, so that when you speak, you will not easily lose yourself. Personally, I feel that it is also a good practice to say the ideas in a concise way and avoid repetition. As nowadays we are all very busy and involved in a lot of things simultaneously, and our listeners’ attention normally is short. Audience is more willing to hear the result rather than the whole story given the time limit.

Be confident and smile
Personal charisma usually can attract more attention and audience. Although charisma is something that we are born with and difficult to improve, I still feel that there is also one way that can help us in attracting the audience. That is to be confident and to give smiles. We need to have strong faith in what we are saying and do not be afraid of making mistakes. Practice makes perfect. That is also applicable to verbal communication where conversations in our daily lives are our practice fields. These conversations include talking in front of non-friends or relative large audience, like discussion in our es2007 class. The more we practice the more confident we will get, and the better we will become in the verbal communication.

Minimize stereotyping and be a good listener
We need to minimize our stereotyping when we communicate.  Stereotyping not only exist in the inter-cultural communication, but even within your closest friends. The stereotype I am talking about is the pre-judgment that we have before we communicate.  In Chinese, there is an old saying: a person can change a lot with three days. Therefore, it is always a good practice to listen the message from other parties carefully before forming the replies in our minds to avoid potential miscommunication.

At last, I really want to thank all of you, especially Brad. I have enjoyed the module a lot. It has been a pleasure to exchange feedbacks or opinions with you guys both inside and outside the class. I cannot be more agreed with Brad the importance of feedback in a learning process.  And Brad, you always give me your critical comments with an encouraging tone, in which it has boosted up my morale in learning professional communication and English language.  Within so many years in Singapore, all the English relating subjects’ teachers/facilitators/tutors I have met were all very institutional style and discouraging.  (:P)


  1. Hi Zhuang Wei!

    It is essential to think before you speak. Ideas will be presented in a clear and concise manner. In addition, we can also avoid offending people. Imagine blabbering on and on in front of your superior without analyzing what to say and what not to?

    You have also mentioned several key points in verbal communication, with clear sub-headings. Great!

    1. Hi Serene

      Thank you for your agreement on this! I really feel that " think before you say" should be practiced in our daily lives so to get our brain to be used to that. Speaking needs practice, and speaking needs daily practice.

  2. Hi Zhuang Wei!

    I like the topic that you choose, it is really interesting.

    In France, we say that "You should turn 7 times your tongue in your mouth before speaking" and that is true! I agree that you have the quality to know how to be concise when you make your speech. That is a really good point!

    For the charisma, I think that it is not impossible to improve it!
    "Fake it until become it". Being smiling and confident is the best means to become it quickly!

    Finally I agree that we learned in this module to avoid the stereotypes. Thanks to our multicultural class, we spoke a lot about that and I realized that this point is really important. It is the same thing for the listening.

    Finally, it is a nice post with an interesting topic. Congratulations for all your improvements during this semester.

    All the best.


    1. Maxime

      "You should turn 7 times your tongue in your mouth before speaking" this sentence impressed me a lot! Chinese got some kind of saying but it is about action, " think three times before you act". However, we both agree that not only to action, but also we need to thing before we say, right?

      Anyway, it is our last post, and thank you again for all the wonderful comments you made to each single piece of my post! If I was not wrong, you were always the first or second one down on my comment list. I would like to let you know that, it really warms my heart!

  3. Hi Zhuang Wei,

    I can see the 7C's in your final post! You kind of summarize the entire course into one post!! It was great working with you, and thank you for your help in pointing out my flaws and helped me improve on it! All the best :)

    1. Hi jiewei

      About the 7C's, I do not really pay too much note to write in a 7C's way, all I do is to think long before I write. To construct my argument first then write down. I guess by doing that way, the 7C's will come out naturally in the writing?

  4. Hi Zhuang Wei!

    I like your post because it shows what are the takeaway points that you have learned clearly in each paragraph. I do agree with those points that you have brought up, they are essential in communicating effectively. It is very hard to capture the audience's attention throughout s certain timespan (be it short or long) and yet still be able to get them to remember what you said.

    I believe that throughout this course, you definitely have the "think before you say" quality and confidence. When we were doing the peer teaching project together, I remember you internalised what we were discussing before you replied something. Even though you say quite little (compared to Rui and I), it makes an impact. Like what my dad would describe as a 'ten-megaton bomb', succinct and to the point. :)

    1. Tasha
      Thank you for your encouragement! I am really happy with your last sentence that you commented about me!Thank you! Although I know that I still have a long way to become a succinct speaker, I will try my best to work on it!
      All the best!

  5. Hi Zhuang Wei,

    I like how you bring out the three take aways you got from the module. These are essential portions of showing the audience that you care and that you are glad to be talking to them. something sbout believeing in what we say makes people listen to us. Your post highlights this well!

    Thank you for being a great team mate Zhuang Wei. I still remember our interview session! Hehe, see you around..


    1. Oh ya, the interview section! I really treat that section very seriously and I need to thank you for acting so well. I took some notes from that interviews and tried to avoid making the same mistakes in my future job interviews. Haha
      See you around and all the best!

  6. Hi Zhuang Wei,
    For someone with English as a second language, you have dealt with the issue of unnecessary repetition well. This, in addition to another 2 good points you have mentioned are critical. By research it has been established that the average optimum attention span is about 20 minutes. Also, at work, my boss is mostly interested in the result rather than an hour long presentation of how I got there.
    Your charisma is currently at a level above one that requires taking that huge step to improve so use it! It’s competent enough.
    I also agree about not being afraid to make mistakes. I realised that for myself, before any huge thing (performance, speech, presentation, exam) there would be various specific mistakes you are aware could happen and it is only when I do commit the mistake, it feels like a relief and I know longer consider it anymore thereafter, so make as many mistakes as you can when you’re young.
    How true it is that you mention that stereotyping exist within interactions without obvious cultural barriers too. Often there’s so much focus on intercultural but we must not ignore the most subtle stereotyping too as it only result when one feels he/she isn’t guilty of committing it.
    All the best and keep in touch!

    1. All the best for your future whether it is going to be inside or outside NUS, and sure, keep in touch!

      Zhuang Wei

  7. Renick

    It is already passed mid-night and your comment makes me refresh. I must say that you have great ability to read in between the lines. I admit that I am really not a good writer, but you got what I mean and summarize my whole one paragraph into one sentence " For someone with English as a second language, you have dealt with the issue of unnecessary repetition well." That is really impressive! However I feel that even some English native speakers tend to drag on the same point forever when they speak.
    And thank you for the charisma thing, but in contrast with you, I still need to improve on.
    Lastly I can not agreed more that "it is only when I do commit the mistake, it feels like a relief and I know longer consider it anymore thereafter" Each time I fall, I always feel stronger when I get up.

    1. Hi Zhuang Wei,

      Thanks again for your compliment. You are a good writer! Read Brad's comment.

      Thanks for praising my charisma too. With regards to that and mistakes, there are those charismatic speakers who were imprisoned before, so I'm sure they improved somewhere in between. There isn't really a better of worse speaker, as long as we belong to the group that accepts our limitations and embark on lifelong learning as a result to improve :)

  8. This is really an exceptional post, Zhuang Wei. Of course I appreciate the accolades, but I make my statement irrespective of the strokes on my ego. I like the way you turn this reflection into a list of tips, as if you have now come to the stage where as an enabled communicator you can give advice to incoming students. I also like the way you illustrate each segment, each tip with clear examples. Your prose also shows economy and general accuracy in language use. Most importantly, the passion for your learning also shines through this discussion, showing that you have truly integrated what we have been concluding makes for effective communication.

    Thank you for the great effort this term, Zhuang Wei, and best of luck as you begin the next stage of your life path.